Tomorrow is Valentine’s day. I bet you already knew that. According to my husband, its just a “made up holiday.” But according to my extensive (albeit 10 minutes worth of) research on NPR.com and history.com, its actually the celebration of several holidays, all squished into one. And none of them were made up.
One story sites an ancient Roman festival where priests murdered animals (goats and dogs according to both my extensive sources) and ran through the streets flinging bloody hides on naked women to improve fertility. All while drinking wine, of course.
Other stories tell of 3 Saints, all named Valentine, that were imprisoned and murdered on or around Valentine’s day. One of them sent a note from prison to their lover, singed “your Valentine” which for obvious reasons has some significance here.
Either way, over the years, this naked fertility festival and our love of martyred saints has morphed into this holiday of celebrating love.
Personally, I dig it. But, I think I'm might be in the minority. While I spend time searching, photographing, painting and scheming for just the perfect gift for my Valentine, I am left with nary a card, poem, flower or even a special hug. Well, except for my Dad. Dad's are great for that Snoopy Valentine's day card that always says something like "You're the greatest Daughter, Ever." Which is super nice - but not the goopy love sentiment you wish for from your spouse.
So, I thought I would make a top 10 list. You know, for all those men, women, husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends who just can’t seem to find a way to say, "I get you." (uhm…Dad, if you’re reading this, best to stop now.)
10. Sex toys. Yes, sex toys. What’s more important then to love thyself? And if your searching for the perfect thing - everyone likes sex. Even if they don’t have it regularly, with another person, or at all. They would like it if they could. I primarily think of women when I think of sex toys, sure. We women don’t wander around with phallic shaped appendages on our body, and if alone, we need some extra help when feeling amorous. And ladies, lets be honest, if your man is giving you grief about your love for him, your commitment to the relationship or what it might say about him as a man if you need one, then just tell him you will agree the minute he cuts off his hand. To any women who is without, this would be a wonderful gift. Hands down. And to men with the same needs - go for it. Nothing bad can come from something that vibrates.
9. Chocolate. But not the crappy kind that you get at the drug store. Take some time, do some research. Cocoabella (cocobella.com) is a great starting point. Or XOX truffles (xoxtruffles.com). They take a little time to be delivered if you live outside of SF. But they are lovely and worth the extra effort. If you can’t pull that off, you can likely find something amazing at a regular grocery store. But by regular, I’m talking Whole Foods or the likes. TJ’s isn’t half bad either.
8. Lingerie. Ok, by now you’re thinking I am just stating the obvious. Which may be true. But buying lingerie for your lover is not only going to allow them to put something on that will make them feel fabulous, but its also going to start a conversation. One that hopefully is very sexy in nature. And that is a gift in and of itself. Throw in a sex toy, and you have yourself a party.
7. A Poem. Maybe you write it. Maybe you just find one. Either way, you get the credit for being romantic.
6. Massage. This one is usually best done in person, and personally, you dig? If you’re not awesome with your hands, then maybe buy yourself a reference book. And ask lots of questions in your session.
5. Photos. Whether your down for a boudoir or a dudeoir session, making something personal can be such a beautiful experience for both the photography subject and the recipient. I did this personally for my husband last year. I didn’t go nudey patootey or anything. But what an amazing feeling to just allow yourself to be photographed so vulnerably. I’m not recommending any group photo session, though. That falls under a completely different category.
4. Romantic Getaway - if you have this in your available arsenal of romantic tools and don’t use it at least once, then I can’t help you.
3. Perfume. Who doesn’t love smelling delicious? And if you work it right, the scent you get could enhance your natural abilities to Love. While the perfume counter at your local department store might sound like the best place, let me suggest something more natural - like essential oils masterfully crafted.
2. Jewelry. Diamonds were made to give at romantic holidays. If not diamonds, sapphires. Aquamarines. Rubies. Rose Quarts. A piece of costume jewelry from the consignment shop on the corner. A painted macaroni necklace, for God’s sake. Just show up.
1. Your Perspective. Spend 5 minutes, an hour or an entire week, and think of an entire list of reasons why you love him or her. Write it down. Use adjectives. And when the day comes, wake them up with your list. Give it, read it, act it out. But it’s so true what they say - love doesn’t cost a thing.